- The outer portions/tips of a yard (the athwartship spars that hold square sails).
- The athwartship spar on naval, merchant, and recreational vessels for mounting signals.
This term only applies to the outer sections of a yard, not the entire yard itself. During the age of sail, signal flags would be flown from yardarms. Sailors who were court-martialed and sentenced to death by hanging would also be hung from a yardarm.
King, D., Hattendorf, J.B, & Estes, J.W. (1997). A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales (2nd Ed.). Owl Books.
Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic Seaport.